Monday, August 17, 2009

New Wave for the New Week #23

One of New Wave's more stylish Canadian exports were Maurice & the Clichés. Formed in Vancouver in 1978 by Maurice DePas, Paul Wilson-Brown and Gary Westlake, Maurice & the Clichés quickly became darlings of the local club scene. They were known for their fairly elaborate multi-media stage shows, and within a year, their self-titled debut album was out and word of the band began to spread beyond Canadian borders.

By 1982 they were signed to Los Angeles-based RMS records, and in early 1983 the album C'est La Vie hit the shelves. From it came the band's best known song, this week's New Wave for the New Week entry, "Soft Core."

Wickedly funny, highly stylized, and irresistibly catchy, "Soft Core" became a huge favorite on college radio and dance club playlists. Maurice & the Clichés' moment in the spotlight was a brief one however. They chose not to create a video for the single, an unwise choice in the midst of MTV's ascension to the height of its promotional powers. As such, the single, and the band, faded quickly from memory.

A third album was recorded but never released, and the world heard no more from Maurice & the Clichés until 2006, when the retrospective Flogging a Dead Horse was released, including tracks from both LPs and a fair amount of the unreleased material. The later stuff is hit-and-miss and the earlier stuff is good but primitive; "Soft Core" was the absolute pinnacle for this band.

Since no video was ever made, there is none to share with you. Still, it's such a great song that it must be shared - making this our first audio-only NW4NW. Enjoy!

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